Friday, July 27, 2012

You can catch more flies with honey!

Again, as I was cruising through message boards I found this interesting series of posts. When people post their genealogy posts they are looking for research not lectures, see the follow posts:

This is the first post looking for information:

looking for any references to Richard Branham... dates of birth and death are sketchy. He lived in Richmond, VA, where he married Alice, and had four sons. John T. Branham, b. 3-5-1712, Richard Branham Jr. b 11-28-1714, William Branham, b. 3-29-1716, and Benjamin Branham, b. 12-01-1728. Any decendents that would like to contact me, please do so... I have had some luck tracing down through his son John, but the others are in the dark...
Thanks alot. 

This is Kathy's response, well isn't she a know it all:

 Excuse me but there was NO Richmond, VA in the late 1600's. The place you are referring to is RICHMOND COUNTY, which is quite different from Richmond, Va. Before it was Richmond County it was called Rappahannock County, now called Old Rappahannock County because it is extinct. In the late 1600's, Rappahannock was split into Richmond on one side of the Rappahannock and Essex on the other.
If you are looking for records for the Branhams in the 1600's, start with York and work your way up the Rappahannock River as the counties can into being. Everyone followed the big river ports to make a living. Tappahannock in Essex, Naylors in Richmond, Port Royal in Caroline and then into Orange/Culpeper/Madison and from there into Kentucky.
If you're going to do Virginia genealogy research, you have to have a map. Everybody traveled by RIVER. 

Now, I was just wondering after reading this post about when exactly Richmond was founded, after a quick Google search this is what I found:

 "The site of Richmond, at the fall line of the James River, had been an important village of the Powhatan Confederacy, and was briefly settled by English colonists from Jamestown in 1609, and in 1610–1611. The present city of Richmond was founded in 1737. It became the capital of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia in 1780.(Wikipedia "The Free Encyclopedia"; Richmond, VA)"

And more on Richmond:

In 1607, after 10 days of travel up Powhatan’s River (later known as the James River), Captain John Smith and 120 men from Jamestown, Virginia, settled at the river's highest navigable location. Theirs was the first attempt to settle at the Falls of the James.
Four years later in 1611, the governor of the new Jamestown colony organized an expedition to sail up the James and settled below the falls in a place they called Henricus. The first hospital in North America was located there, serving also as the home of Pocahontas.
Struggles with the indigenous peoples began to simmer and then boil over after the death of Pocahontas in 1617, and her father Chief Powhatan the following year. Widespread Indian attacks during the Powhatan uprising of 1622 destroyed every English settlement along the James River except Jamestown.
Led by the more aggressive Chief Opechancanough, the tribe massacred nearly 400 white settlers during a surprise attack in 1644. Two years later, the tribe was forced to sign a treaty that granted the English possession of the land below the Falls of the James.
The neighborhoods of Shockoe Bottom, Shockoe Slip, and Church Hill, where St. John's Church had been built the prior year, coalesced into one entity when Richmond was chartered as a town, in 1742. They were governed by the Virginia House of Burgesses, located in Jamestown.(US History Website"Richmond, VA).

Well, I guess Kathy's response was partially true, the town where Richmond stands was not named Richmond but there was a town there. But it is very upsetting when someone who is posting a simple query gets such a rude response. This will turn  people off of message board all together. Why would someone post a message when they are going to receive this sort of response.

A good response would have been, "the city now named Richmond was not established under that name until (state date), at the date you have mentioned it was actually called(name here). I am wondering if you mean Richmond County? I know that places are very confusing and to help in my research I have purchased a map of Virginia made by (company name here), it has helped me a bunch."

Place names can be very difficult, especially in areas where towns change names regularly. When I run across this issue in my research I list the name at the time of the event but note the new name of the place.
What do you do in this situation?

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